We focus on safety and form at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, and part of that focus includes ensuring clients warm up and cool down when they workout. We use all types of stretching, active stretching, passive stretching, dynamic stretching and static stretching. Active stretching is the opposite of passive stretching. When you do passive stretching, you apply force to stretch the muscle, like grabbing your ankle and pulling for a bent knee quad stretch. Active stretching is doing the movement to stretch, hands over your head stretch and bend down to touch your toes.
Dynamic stretching is different than static stretching.
Unlike passive and active, which indicates where the force of the stretch emanated, dynamic and static stretching have to do with swhether you stretch and hold or move. Dynamic stretching moves the muscles through the full range of motion, only briefly stopping in any one position. Alternating lunges are the perfect example of dynamic stretches.
What is static stretching?
Static stretching doesn’t involve much movement. It’s the act of holding a muscle in a stretched mode for several seconds. The maximum stretch is usually 30 seconds, since there’s no scientific evidence that longer is beneficial. You do static stretching after a workout. It slightly tugs on the muscles and helps that muscle relax after a workout. Since the muscles are already warmed up and flexible, by doing static stretching afterward, you can improve your range of motion.
You do active stretching in the gym and it can be dynamic or static.
Passive stretch can be done alone, but most of the time it’s done during physical therapy or during a massage. Its biggest benefit is that it can stretch muscles beyond the flexibility they already have to increase range of motion, such as during therapy. It tends to be more painful than active stretching, so being relaxed is important. That’s why using it post workout is important to prevent stretching and potentially injuring a cold muscle. Most athletes use active stretching.
- The classifications normally used when discussing pre and post stretching—warming up and cooling down—focus on static vs dynamic stretching.
- Dynamic stretching activates the muscles and warms them up for a specific activity. It targets specific muscle groups by mimicking the activity of the movement. It increases blood flow, flexibility and muscle temperature, while reducing resistance.
- Static stretching can be used to help muscles relax, or be the perfect way to end a workout. The muscles are warmed so stretching can increase the range of motion when stretched and reduce or prevent post-workout stiffness.
- If you’re doing dynamic stretching, such as walking lunges, don’t bounce or force the stretch. It creates an uncontrolled motion, forcing the muscle to a greater range of motion and that can cause injury.
For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training